Yes today is Thanksgiving for those of the U.S. but Thanksgiving Day is also National Family Health History Day. Think about it for a minute and it makes perfect sense. While you have everybody together is a great time to learn more about your family health history. My brother and his wife and Bob and I had a discussion about this last year. My brother and I each had information on different sides of the family so until we put together what we both knew, our information was incomplete. It only took and 15 minutes, it wasn’t depressing and I wish we had gotten around to this sooner.
Don’t turn Thanksgiving into a downer talking about all the death and sickness in the family, but… this may be a good time to casually ask mom, grandma or your favorite aunt a few questions if you have concerns related to your family health history. Knowing your family health history does not doom you to repeating it. In fact being aware of these things gives you the opportunity to adjust your lifestyle to be your healthiest and even prevent certain diseases and conditions. For example, if grandpa died of lung cancer or emphysema you can choose to not smoke.
Don’t be afraid of your family medical history, it’s what you don’t know that can harm you.